Send to

Choose Destination
Cold Spring Harb Symp Quant Biol. 2007;72:483-8. doi: 10.1101/sqb.2007.72.024.

Sirtuins in aging and disease.

Author information

Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.


Sirtuin genes function as anti-aging genes in yeast, Caenorhabditis elegans, and Drosophila. The NAD requirement for sirtuin function indicates a link between aging and metabolism, and a boost in sirtuin activity may in part explain how calorie restriction extends life span. In mammals, one of the substrates of the SIR2 ortholog, SIRT1, is a regulator of mitochondrial biogenesis, PGC-1alpha. Indeed, the putative SIRT1 activator resveratrol has been shown to stimulate mitochondrial biogenesis and deliver health benefits in treated mice. I explore here how mitochondrial biogenesis may have beneficial effects on aging and, perhaps, diseases of aging. In particular, I speculate that SIRT1-mediated mitochondrial biogenesis may reduce the production of reactive oxygen species, a possible cause of aging, and offer two possible mechanisms for this effect. An understanding of how calorie restriction works may lead to novel drugs to combat diseases of aging.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center